Mendi register fourth win, Lae continue perfect start
THE Mendi Muruks bounced back from their round-four loss with an 18-16 win over Waghi Tumbe at the Lae Rugby League Ground in the Morobe capital yesterday.
In the other match of the Lae double-header, Digicel Cup defending champions Lae Tigers eased past the winless Mt Hagen Eagles with a 34-24 round-five win.
It was a tough day at the office for the Muruks but they managed to make amends for their first loss of the season which a 12-14 defeat to last year’s runners-up Hela Wigmen.
Muruks’ Joe Honk, Dickson Pipi and Stanton Albert grabbed a try each.
Melix Wanis knocked over two conversions and a penalty goal to give the Muruks their fourth win of the season.
Tumbe’s Saki Peter scored a double and SP Hunters forward Emmanuel Waine crossed over for a try but it wasn’t enough as Waghi succumbed to their third loss of the season.
The win saw the Muruks move up to second spot on the ladder after the Wigmen-Port Moresby Vipers clash was postponed to this weekend due to the 14-day lockdown of the nation’s capital.
Enoch Sine, Sonny Wabo and Joe Joshua scored doubles and Jokedi Bire scored one with halfback Charlie Simon dictating play for the Tigers in the main game of the Lae double-header.
The Eagles fought back with skipper Henry Wan, Adam Korowa, Allen Karapus and John Kerepa scoring a try each but the hosts held on to continue their perfect start to the season.
Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition manager Stanley Hondina said a split round would see the teams that played in Lae yesterday on a bye this weekend.
The Port Moresby matches, which were supposed to be played on Saturday, will go ahead this weekend.
“We have been informed by the Controller’s Office that approval to proceed are still pending but we have a competition to run and as such this decision has been made,” Hondina said.
“We are also mindful of the confusion and anxiety this has caused for those teams travelling into Port Moresby and Lae.
“Thus, the board had to make this call.”